Archery Bows — How to Choose the Best Bow For You!
A sports pro or archery shop would be the best outlet to buy archery bows, not from a sporting goods section of a department store. The staff at an archery or pro shop would be more qualified of giving advice on the right equipment than the ordinary sales people at department stores. Essentially, sound advice is needed as the archery bow should exactly fit the type of activity for its intended use, as well as match the individual capability of the user.
In general, archery bows are divided into four classifications: recurve bows, compound bows, long bows and cross bows. The Long bows are used for traditional archery. Crossbows are much shorter and are mounted on a rifle-like stock to enable the shooter to cock and shoot its arrow. Cams and pulleys, on the other hand, are the main features of the compound bows. Archery can be used to hunt game wherein crossbows and compound bows (for large animals) are the common equipment. In bowhunting, the distance between the hunter and the game are much shorter than that in hunting using firearms, and hunting with these bows enjoys longer seasons.
Archery as sports competitions has several variations some of which could be held both outdoors and indoors. One is target archery which is an Olympic sport with its own international governing body, FITA. Indoor events here have distances of 18 m and 25 m while outdoor distances are set at 30m to 90 m. Also popular in the US and Europe is field archery wherein competitors shoot at targets situated on varying distances usually over rough terrain. There are three common rounds in field archery: field, animal and hunter with each round consisting of 28 targets broken into two units of 14. Also popular in international archery bows competition, particularly among hunters, is a form called 3D archery which revolves around shooting at life-size models of animals. Another competition is called clout archery which is similar to target archery but the distances are considerably longer to up to 165 m for men and 128 m for women. Crossbow target shooting is yet another archery event with international following. Three disciplines are involved here: field-crossbow archery, 30m match-crossbow, 10-m match-crossbow.
After lining up the archery bows that may be suited for a specific activity, a user can then pick one which is the most comfortable for the individual’s intended use. It is worth considering also that a release aid would be required for short bows, while none is needed in long bows. Next consideration is the weight of the equipment. Light bows would be ideal for hunting as these will have to be carried around for longer periods of time. The heavier bows would be more suitable for archery competitions as these are more stable for shooting immobile targets. Brace height, the distance between the bow grip and string, should likewise be as comfortable as possible for the individual. Most importantly, archery bows have to have the appropriate draw weight. The comfortable draw for adults would be at 50 pounds, 10 pounds for young kids and 20 pounds for older children. Draw weight, in other words, has to be compatible to an archer’s pulling power; draw weights that are too high for comfort could tire the competitor early and shots taken are most likely to be inaccurate. In the same manner, archery bows have to be of appropriate draw length, as muscle strain would result from draw lengths that are too long, again resulting in shot inaccuracy.